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Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) offers a nonsurgical, localized treatment that kills the target tissue with heat, while sparing the healthy tissue. Because of the localized nature of this treatment, RFA does not have any systemic side effects. Radiofrequency ablation can be performed without affecting the patient's overall health and most people can resume their usual activities in a few days. 

In this procedure, the interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a small needle through the skin into the tumor. From the tip of the needle, radiofrequency energy is transmitted into the target tissue, where it produces heat and kills the tumor.

Benefits:

  • May be performed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia
  • Is well tolerated. Most patients can resume their normal routines the next day and may feel tired only for a few days.
  • Can be repeated if necessary
  • May be combined with other treatment options
  • Can relieve pain and suffering for many cancer patients

Some tumors that potentially could be treated by RFA include tumors of the liver, kidney, bone and lungs.

To find out if you may be a candidate for this procedure, call your Medical Oncologist or contact the Lowell General Cancer Center for more information.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Before Your Procedure

Your referring doctor's office will schedule your appointment with us and provide you with all information related to preparation and expectations for your specific condition and procedure.

You will need to arrange for a family member or friend to take you home after your procedure. Please note that you will not be allowed to drive yourself or to take a bus. You must have someone escort you by car or taxi.

When You Arrive For Your Procedure

Please wear comfortable clothes and leave all valuables at home. When you come to the main hospital you may go directly to the Surgical Day Care Unit on the basement level of the Dahod Building. This is where you will check in and prepare for your procedure. They will take you to the Interventional Radiology suite. If your procedure is a day procedure, not requiring an overnight stay, you will be brought back to this area when your procedure is complete. Your companion is encouraged to accompany you to check-in and may wait in the waiting area during your procedure.

After Your Procedure

Your recovery will depend on the type of procedure you have. Your doctor will be able to tell you what to expect after the procedure for your path to recovery. If your procedure does not require an overnight stay, you will likely return to the Surgical Day Care Unit. If you will be admitted to a patient care unit, your belongings will be transferred to your room for you and your companion will be notified.

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